Education in making peace

Peace and development studies

Why are there wars and conflicts in the world? This seems to be an eternal question. Peace and development studies try to understand the mechanisms of conflicts and put them in a development context.

During the last 15 years, the global pattern of armed conflicts and violence has changed dramatically. Conflicts today involve not just a complex set of societal groups, but also foreign actors, with their own political and economic interests. What is more, the distinction between conventional wars between states, domestic conflicts, and violence in society in general is starting to fade.

These new patterns of war require a new approach to understanding peace.
We cannot see peace only as the absence of direct, organised military violence. A conflict will not die out just because the violence stops. There is often a deeply-rooted, structural, indirect violence based on a systematical, unequal development, which will not disappear even if the direct violence stops.

This often results in the conflict gaining new force. In peace and development studies, we try to understand the mechanisms of the conflicts and put them in a broader context. In our interdisciplinary field, we work with perspectives from sociology, anthropology and political science as well as from economy and history.

The starting point is that it is not possible to study a conflict based on one single phenomenon. We must study peace, conflict, security and development together in order to learn how different aspects of societal development work together


Linnaeus University offers a broad selection of courses in peace and development studies, both at first-cycle and second-cycle level. As a student, you have the possibility to choose peace and development studies as main subject in your bachelor degree or to study single-subject courses within the subject.

If you want to study at second-cycle level, we offer a master programme in peace and development work, where we focus specifically on the knowledge and skills that you need to find good ways to enter the labour market.

Research in peace and development

Building peace in societies broken by prolonged periods of conflict is one of today's biggest challenges. Continued violence requires an close cooperation between military and civilian actors. This cooperation is of particular importance at the local level where all peacebuilding activities ultimately need to take root.

Research collaboration embraces topics such as development and security arenas in peace building, the role of the military after conflict and the relationship between state security actors and civilians.